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Language challenges and culture ?

Language challenges
In Luxor, there are many Chinese who visit the historic sites, so we have had many Chinese guests at Lotus House.
They often do not speak English and therefore a great challenge when we have to communicate with them. This winter, there were some Chinese guests who had seen a lot of frogs in our garden and it took a long time before we could understand what they meant - they would buy our frogs for cooking - this is just an example - where we finally understood what they meant - others have almost an expectation that we talk  Chinese and there are misunderstandings in communication, which we sense - but always try to understand and help as best we can ... but, but, but, often, we see it in their mention of the stay .... some complaints about the stay and at the same time they book a few nights more .....
how do you manage, language challenges? (We speak 4 languages including English)

Lot of holiday wish to all 

Lotus House Luxor

 

30 Replies

7
Aaltje B.

oh, I just discovered another exceptional difference.

The guests slept on the bed, instead of between the sheets, blanket on top. The extra blankets were unused - folded- in the wardrobe. Oooh dear.....

greetings

Aaltje B.

3 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

They were from China by the way.

3 months ago
2
Lotus House Luxor

This marvelous world with so many differences - it is experienced when guests come from other cultures. Happy Easter :)

3 months ago
7
fluff

We quite enjoy dealing with guests of no common language (between us we speak 8 either well or so-so).

Voice driven google translate is reasonable, as long as both sides keep the language and grammar simple. Written is a little more accurate. Along with hand language it can be fun and when success is achieved both parties feel like they've won something! Even mis-translations can lead to a bit of fun.

With the rapidly growing force of Chinese tourists it is worth all of us learning a few choice phrases.

3 months ago
2
Lotus House Luxor

yes it can be a challenge with language, and there will be more Chinese who book in the future - they think very differently - remember we had a group of 8 guests and everything was divided into 8 potions, 8 tomatoes, 8 cucumbers - 8 onions ..... they were smiling and nice - were concerned about what things cost and how cheap they could get it :) it was down to the smallest details.

many greetings from

Lis Agerup

3 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

My chinese guest has convinced me later that she has not been cold, and that I don't have to worry about her, she was absolutely fine. Her english was amazing! And she only learned in school. It blew me away, also her pronunciation.

The fireplace warmed up the entire space, including the bedroom, so she slept on top of the bedspread.

Ah well....

The lady gave me a 9.6 rating so I didn't have something to worry about. :)

All good.

Greetings

Aaltje B.

3 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

anything to worry about.

I am still learning English !

3 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Learning never stops!!!
Unfortunately, apart from Greece I only speak English. Happily most of my guests speak English so I manage to communicate with them very well.

3 months ago
7
Katerinka12

My Korean guest, who will come in June, asked for "facilities". When I asked what kind of facilities, he said "salt, pepper and cooking oil" 😊

3 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Wow! Katerinka12 hope you can find these facilities!!!ha..ha..ha..

3 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

I just remembered something... One of my guests could not find how to operate the fan above my stove. He could not find the on/off. He told me so when we met out for a drink. I asked him why didn’t you give me a call ??? He didn’t want to ask me because he is an engineer and he thought...how embarrassing...We had many laughs. He explained to me that he had never seen such a fan although he has traveled a lot. How funny.

3 months ago
5
Mashi Niwarthana

But i think you can use google translating. I don't know whether you will agree or not. But lots of time i use it. Therefore i have easily shared our thoughts.

3 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Certainly I use google translator all the times.
Take care.

3 months ago
3
Sonstbbs

...I came into my breakfast room one morning to find our lovely Chinese guest eating muesli out of her small tea cup using the teaspoon....it was so sweet...

The bowls are stacked next to the cereals with the milk & juice...I don't know if she just didn't see them or what..

The next morning I made up her place and put a cereal bowl on her place mat...nothing needed to be said...

3 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Don't be surprised if you find boiled noodles in your kettle... 😂🍜🍜

3 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Thanks for making me laugh 😂 again...
Be happy...

3 months ago
2
Maris

a couple of days ago, I have seen on Internet an app, which translates directly at the time the other person is talking to you. I found it very practic, especially for those languages we usually don't speak.

3 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Maris that’s great give us more details. Is it free???

3 months ago
2
Maris

I am not using it personaly, I have just seen the advertisement of Internet.

If you try to search on Internet Voice translator, it will finds you a couple of them.

3 months ago
7
Katerinka12

I really don't understand why it's the host, who is using official language of the country should suffer from trying to adjust to the guest, who pushes him to speak his language only.

Don't get me wrong. I will go out of my way to use translator for Frensh, Chinese, Korean, Spanish... I am just concerned about those situations, when people do not care to apologize with "sorry, I don't speak English", but will push you and push you to speak their language only, as it's only language that exists in the world. While they are traveling to your country and should at least have a little respect for your language and local customs.

How do you deal with such situations? Honestly, I did try to adjust just for the booking sake, but I am not happy with such situations anymore. Everyday I handle more than 20 people and my area is in high demand, I can afford to loose the booking for someone more respectful. After all, my doctors say "no stress. Just wine 🍷😂". Will such behavior of the guest be enough reason to cancel the booking?

3 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Maris thank you I've seen them too. I was just wondering which one is better.
Katerinka maybe wine with bubbles is better as Michael suggests. he.he.he. Whatever behavior gets in to your nerves I think is a good reason to cancel a booking.
Cheers!!!!

3 months ago
4
Sharonpowney

I have had several Chinese groups stay and one difficult thing I find is that they often hang their damp towels in the wardrobe. In a cooler climate this just encourages damp but with the language difficult I haven't been able to find out why. There is a heated towel rail in the bathroom which dries them.

2 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

Hi Sharon

About differences: You could make a folder with information about this topic (amongst other info about your unit and things to do in your area) and put in the photos that you take of your "damp" towels in the wardrobe being crossed with grumpy face and a tick and smiley on the photo with towels on the heated towel rail. There is not much room for misinterpretation doing it that way. And good for anyone reading this / seeing the photos gives a clear message. How big is your towel rail? They may think they need more rails?? Anyway, you have got the solution, but next is to bring the message across.

Hope this helps :)

Greetings

Aaltje B. New Zealand.

2 months ago
7
Katerinka12

I keep smiling. Aaltje gave excellent advise. Chinese (and Asians) understand pictures very well.

You can use PhotoLayers apps for that.

2 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

Hi Katerinka,

hehe, these are my favourite questions, when the topic becomes too technical, I will forward to you, Katerinka!

And my English language corrector keeps telling me that it is Favourite, not Favorite, Aaah, well ;) - Apparently I can use both, all depending on what side I am on, the American one or the English one. :)

Greetings,

Aaltje B.

2 months ago
7
fluff

"The United States and Great Britain are two countries separated by a common language."

George Bernard Shaw

"We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language."

Oscar Wilde

2 months ago
2
Juancsandoval

Language challenge is fascinating.We are small guest house and we can not afford to have a language bank.Our guest house is located in Santa Marta, Colombia

Our mother language is Spanish.However we requested from out staff to speak English.Most of our guest speak English and try to communicatein English.But there are some times difficult barriers, when the guest do not speak English or Spanish.

We use the google translation, very useful and free.Basically, the guest, most of the time, ask almost the same questions.Where do I take the bus to Tayrona Park?, How much does the bus charge?Where is the nearest ATM?, Where is the nearest supermaket?, etc.We have discussed those questions among our staff, and we are prepared and use the google translator.

We have local maps in our walls, that is a help.

2 months ago
2
Lotus House Luxor

I am overwhelmed by the many comments and suggestions my feature in this forum has given - many thanks to everyone for the many commentary, fun and helpful comment - nice with this forum so we can exchange experiences - Good summer for everyone.

Many greetings from Lotus House, Luxor
Lis

2 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Cultural differences between United States and Great Britain are so many although some might think that these countries have same language!!!

So many countries in the world, lot of different cultures and habits between people but all of these brings us to the fact that we need to appreciate if someone is different from us.

Take care.

2 months ago